Reading Time: 2 minutes

Maryland’s next attorney general could be an anti-science, anti-abortion, pro-secession Republican who once donated a million-dollar dinosaur skeleton to the Creation Museum.

Michael Anthony Peroutka filed paperwork this week to run in the Republican primary. At a time when promoting extremism appears to be the best path forward within the GOP, Peroutka has a lengthy résumé.

Let’s start with the Creationism. In 2014, Answers in Genesis first announced a brand new dinosaur exhibit. As they explained in a press release, the skeleton of an allosaur — with “one of the best-preserved Allosaurus fragilis skulls ever discovered” — had been donated to the Creation Museum by Peroutka.

This was the same guy who had said earlier that year that accepting evolution made you a traitor:

The promotion of evolution is an act of disloyalty to America, that’s what I’m saying… You either believe in Creation, by which you have rights that government is designed to protect, or you believe that all men are slime and that you have no rights at all.

It got worse from there because Peroutka soon became an Anne Arundel County Councilman. That was especially concerning for those who knew of his past affiliation with the League of the South, a secessionist group whose founder is racist. Peroutka dismissed that accusations of racism and said the “real racism” was… abortion.

He was also close with alleged pedophile Roy Moore, another conservative Christian known for acting like the rules never apply to him.

When he lost his re-election bid for councilman in 2018, there was hope he would just fade away. But that’s clearly not the case because he’s now eager to win statewide office.

Given his extremist past in a state where MAGA cultism doesn’t necessarily win over the bulk of the electorate is a tough sell. You can bet Democrats are giddy at the possibility Peroutka could actually be the candidate. Even the man who lost to Peroutka in 2014 thinks this is good news for his party:

Patrick Armstrong, the Democrat who was defeated by Peroutka in the 2014 election, said he expects voters will have the sense not to vote for a man with such a problematic history.

“Peroutka was defeated by sensible Republicans in 2018 and I have no doubt that when facing the Maryland electorate statewide, voters will have no interest in a Peroutka-Roy Moore-Donald Trump candidate for attorney general,” Armstrong said.

The last thing any state needs is an attorney general who readily accepts faith-based lies, promotes literal secession, and is buddy-buddy with a judge whose entire persona before his supposed sex crimes came to light was using his seat on the Alabama Supreme Court to promote conservative Christianity (even installing a Ten Commandments monument in the middle of the night).

Peroutka should be considered too extreme for politics. But today’s Republican Party isn’t interested in electing people who know how to do their jobs; they prefer people who wrap themselves in American flags, Christianity flags, red flags, and everything else that signifies a right-wing movement that cares nothing about people who exist outside their bubble.

Hemant Mehta is the founder of FriendlyAtheist.com, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.